Welcome to my blog. I may write copy here that I would not present elsewhere. This blog allows me to comment while reporting for clients which can include subscription-only platforms. I use it to take a sideways look at running stories, and all views presented here are my own.

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Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Talking about "Sonia Gandhi" on BBC World's "The Hub" with Nik Gowing

I first met Nik Gowing more than a decade ago when I took a group of South Asian journalists into Television Centre for a high level meeting with BBC World TV. I'm not sure that Nik remembered that event last evening, as he breezed onto the couch near his set and said "I haven't got much time now" before telling me in one minute flat what he wanted to talk about. Having said that, anchors tend to avoid talking about meeting up outside the newsroom close to or during transmission time as they are so "in the zone," their heads full of notes and what the gallery has been saying to them. The best time to talk is when they finish their shifts -then they relax.

Nik wanted to look at the current situation rather than the past and was on top of the story but -and I guess it is only to be expected these days with cutbacks etc- his researcher or whoever had briefed him had clearly been in a hurry. He announced that Sonia Gandhi was an unelected member of government (not true, she is an elected MP from the constituency of Rae Bareli) and he was also given the wrong figure for the amount of time she was out of India for surgery this Summer.

He was quick to press me on a couple of things I said and and as it was the first interview I had done on TV for the book, it was a little surreal to have my own words quoted to me - but nice, on reflection, and showed that he had read the text carefully. All in all, interviewing for the biggest TV audience in the world is stupendous and I experienced a real feeling of nostalgia being back in the newsroom where I cut my broadcast journalistic teeth and felt, over many years, the elation of compiling reports which went out to millions of listeners.

I love that newsroom. It has always been my favourite place to be on a Saturday night - or any night of the week for that matter.

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